You have 13 million plus folks unemployed, at least three times that many without adequate health cover, trillions of dollars of debt and an army still involved in an unwinnable war.
So, obviously, the most important issue to be tackled by Republican hopefuls for the 2012 party nomination is outlawing gay marriage. Obviously.
In the world of America's evangelical right, the road to heaven is paved with tablets of stone. No same-sex marriage, no embryonic stem-cell research, no abortion, and a constant challenging of accepted scientific wisdom such as evolution.
Little wonder the poster boy for that constituency in the first real test of public opinion in conservative Iowa was father of five Rick Santorum, a man happy to tick all of the above boxes in pursuit of "family values".
Now that Mr Santorum is on the public radar he will face rather more serious scrutiny, not least questions as to how those values allowed him to profit handsomely as a lobbyist for firms whose coffers he had boosted when previously an elected politician.
But the resistable rise of Mr Santorum points to a contemporary phenomenon: the impact of religion on politics in countries whose constitution takes the trouble formally to separate the two.
America's constitution, among other things, pledges the separation of church and state within education, a clause which seems to have escaped the otherwise forensic examination of the Founding Fathers' strictures by organisations such as the powerful Christian Coalition.
They have a well-developed strategy to harness voter power in pursuit of their very specific objectives "from the courthouse to Congress".
Activists are given access to Congressional and Senate voting records, training programmes, election strategies and every encouragement to campaign against the horrors of "liberal" legislation.
Currently the Christian Coalition has found time to rail against proposals to ensure balance in broadcasting since any such equilibrium might put the mouthier conservative "shock jocks" out of business.
I'm not entirely sure which biblical exhortation demands unfettered broadcasting bias, but what would I know?
The difficulty with all of this is not that a group of like-minded people should pursue a common political interest - that's hardly the sole prerogative of the right. But it flies in the face of the secular politics for which the United States signed up, and does so in way in which information is routinely misused, not to say invented – the better to propagandise on behalf of candidates and causes.
You need only think of the hard core "birthers" movement, and the airtime they've been given, to reel at how a lie as big as President Barack Obama being a foreign-born Muslim could gain has much traction and credulity.
Yet this unhelpful intermingling of religious belief and political activism in so-called secular countries is not just a one-way street.
France has a legislature wedded to the separation of church and state, but wedded to it in such a way as to impinge on the lifestyle and faith choices of its citizens.
In 2004 it added a specific amendment to the constitutional clause advocating secular government which outlawed the wearing of any religious clothing or symbols within its education system at any age level.
Technically this law covered people of all faiths and beliefs, but inevitably it impacted most obviously on young Muslims choosing to wear a veil or headscarf. It seems in many ways a counter-productive intervention which drew attention to differences within the school population rather than promoting multicultural harmony.
An oddity of the church state debate is the fact that countries intent on maintaining their secular politics are often those with the highest percentage of self-confessed believers. France, as a whole, is still a staunchly Catholic country.
And Turkey, which has seen ferocious debate about women's religious dress in particular, continues to cling to secular status despite an overwhelmingly Muslim population. Its very location, facing Asia and Europe, gives rise to a certain ambivalence towards overt religious observance within the electorate.
Perhaps it harbours fears of replicating those regimes where religious law has become embedded within governments. Pakistan's radical clerics or Afghan's Taliban have both used draconian interpretations of religious law to subjugate women and punish diversity and free speech. They are contemporary proof that religious laws inserted into civilian judiciaries are typically the precursor of totalitarian government.
And what of Britain, the country where Alastair Campbell famously observed that the administration in which he served "didn't do God"?
His erstwhile earthly master, Tony Blair, certainly does now that he functions as a former prime minister, but it's probably instructive of the British nervousness about mixing religion and politics that he didn't choose to convert publicly to Catholicism until after he left office.
Yet whilst there is no heavy duty America style drumbeating over religious bodies becoming involved in UK political campaigning, it would be a mistake to think that no pressure is brought to bear on legislators.
Here in Scotland priests have not been shy in telling congregations who they should – or, more often, shouldn't – vote for, and the Catholic church has been vociferous in campaigning against abortion laws.
The Kirk has managed to get itself in a constant fankle over the ordination of gay ministers, the issue which has English Episcopalian cassocks in a permanent twist, though you might argue that this is a matter of internal theological debate, however distasteful.
Less legitimate, in my view, have been the long-running campaigns by religious groups against any form of assisted suicide. Their spokespeople were out in force last week, castigating the latest report suggesting that the current laws lack coherence and compassion.
History suggests that the imposition of religious laws from whatever faith base does not result in good governance or healthy societies, respectful of the right to follow individual conscience without imposing it on others.
It was, curiously perhaps, an American who put it best. Thomas Jefferson told his nation: "When you combine the power of the priest and the power of the prince, it's too much power." Amen Mr J.
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